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John Stockton will never forget when Isiah Thomas called his dad to apologize for the drama regarding the Dream Team selection

Isiah Thomas earned major respect with John Stockton and his family with a simple phone call
John Stockton will never forget when Isiah Thomas personally called his dad

Isiah Thomas earned lifetime respect with John Stockton and his family

John Stockton will never forget when Isiah Thomas reached out to his dad personally regarding the criticism for his son's selection to the original Dream Team instead of him, which sparked a lot of controversies. By doing that, Thomas earned ultimate respect from Stockton and his close family members.

Controversy regarding the selection process

When the original Dream Team was announced, it marked an extraordinary moment in basketball history. As we all know, the legendary squad's impact on the sport's popularity is unmatched. It marked a shift in Team USA participation on the international stage, allowing their professionals to play. Obviously, there were a lot of controversies when it was clear John Stockton would be on the team instead of Isiah Thomas. 

At the time, Isiah Thomas and his close circle weren't happy with the selection of John Stockton, and they made it well aware in the media by constantly taking shots at Stockton, who had nothing to do with it. At one point, it got really bad, and that is when Isiah Thomas did something that forever earned him respect from Stockton and his family.

In an interview for Jason Whitlock podcast, John Stockton said Isiah Thomas called his dad in the middle of the entire drama to explain how he has nothing personal against John. He really believed he deserved the spot on the Dream Team and thought Stockton does as well, but he couldn't hide his disappointment with not being selected despite his accomplishments in the league. 

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"The special thing he did amidst all the noise on it was he found a way to call my dad. I don't even know how he would do that, but he called my dad personally and explained that he felt he belonged as well. My dad so much appreciated that and put him at such ease, and I am so grateful for that. I don't know if I would be big enough to do that. That put everything at ease in my camp for sure."

A call from Thomas changed everything

For Stockton personally, it didn't matter what was going on in the media, and he was solely focused on the goal set out for him as a member of the Dream Team. However, it affected his family because they were more in tune with what was going on in the media so getting a call from Thomas personally meant a lot to ease things out. 

"That happened pre-Olympics in 1992. That whole year was apparently the year of tension. My parents and my family always felt the tension more, and they watched the news they read the newspapers. Being a family member of an athlete is probably more difficult than the athlete, you just go out there to do your job. They have to hear all the bad things about you."

There were several theories on why Isiah Thomas wasn't selected for the original Dream Team. When you take into account the context of the time when it happened, it's most likely connected with the rivalry between Isiah and Michael Jordan. If you compare what Thomas and Stockton accomplished up until that time in their careers, there is no question Thomas had an edge with all his personal and team success. With that being said, Stockton deserved to get the spot as one of the best pure point guards in the NBA, but Thomas was more established around the league. 

At the end of the day, history can't be changed, and it's great to hear Thomas was so respectful to make sure Stockton's family understood he had nothing against him personally. This shows Thomas is a class act and a great guy that, despite being a competitor and Stockton's rival, wanted to make sure there were no hard feelings or resentment. No wonder Stockton decided it would be none other than Isiah Thomas who would be by his side when he was getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is a perfect example of the respect these two NBA legends have for each other. 

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